Engines failed before Nigeria air crash

2012-06-04 22:45
Onlookers throw debris away from the tail wing of a crashed Dana Air passenger plane in Lagos, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP)

Onlookers throw debris away from the tail wing of a crashed Dana Air passenger plane in Lagos, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP) (Jon Gambrell)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - The flight that crashed in Nigeria's largest city of Lagos, killing all 153 people on board, reported both of its engines having failed before it went down, the civil aviation chief said on Monday.

It was not yet clear what caused the Dana Air MD83's engines to fail ahead of Sunday's devastating crash in a densely populated area of Lagos, with more people feared dead on the ground in addition to the passengers.

"They declared Mayday," Nigerian civil aviation chief Harold Demuren told AFP. "The reason was that the two engines failed."

The clues emerged as rescuers recovered burnt human remains after the plane slammed into the neighbourhood on the northern outskirts of one of Africa's largest cities, making it one of the country's worst air disasters.

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the devastation on Monday and pledged to improve the country's spotty air safety record as questions were raised over what caused the accident.

Families meanwhile gathered outside a morgue at a Lagos hospital, hoping to identify relatives.

An ambulance dropped off 13 body bags at one point Monday afternoon, with a mortuary attendant saying corpses had been arriving since Sunday night.

A spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib, said on Monday evening that 137 bodies had so far been removed from the site, most of them thought to be plane passengers, though more precise details were not yet available.

The body of a woman clutching a baby was recovered, and they were thought to be residents of the neighbourhood, Shuaib said. After nightfall, the search was suspended until Tuesday morning.

Smouldered

At one point on Monday morning, police fired tear gas at a surging crowd seeking to get a look at the crash site. At other spots around the site people desperately sought access to the wreckage to locate missing relatives.

They were denied access, with rescue workers combing the scene of the crash - the world's worst air disaster so far this year - saying the bodies were unrecognisable.

"I just want to be sure of how he died," one man told rescue workers of his brother.

Wreckage still smouldered at the grisly site near the airport. A two-storey residential building was badly damaged, while a church and a textbook printing warehouse were destroyed.

Local media reported that the crash was Nigeria's worst since 1992, when a military C-130 went down after take-off in Lagos, killing around 200 people on board.

There have been a number of other crashes with more than 100 victims over the past decade in Nigeria but the most recent was in 2005.

Jonathan pledged action to improve air safety in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer.

"This particular incident is a major setback for us," he said after viewing the destruction. "By the end of the day, I will make sure that this will not repeat itself in the country."

At least one of the plane's two cockpit recorders had been recovered, officials said.

Safe airline

The flight disappeared from radar screens on Sunday one minute after having declared the emergency at 15:43 local time (14:43 GMT), 11 nautical miles from the airport, a statement from the aviation minister said.

The crash of the plane, which was flying to Lagos from the capital Abuja, set off an inferno in the poor neighbourhood.

Dana had been considered a relatively safe and reasonably efficient domestic airline since it began operating in 2008.

The airline issued a statement on Monday specifying that the plane was carrying 146 passengers and seven crew - slightly different from an earlier account from a spokesperson saying there were 147 passengers and six crew.

It added that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority was leading the investigation and would be assisted by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

China said six of its nationals were on the plane. The pilot was an American and the co-pilot was Indian, Demuren said.

And France said on Tuesday that one of its nationals, a woman, had also been on the flight.

The spokesperson for Nigerian state oil firm NNPC was also reportedly among the dead.

Chaos

Chaos broke out after the crash, with rescue workers facing large crowds and aggressive soldiers while trying to access smouldering wreckage in the hunt for survivors.

After the tear gas fired on Monday morning however and a heavy security presence deployed, the scene was generally much calmer.

In the aftermath of the crash, thick smoke rose from the area and flames could be seen shooting from a two-storey building.

Thousands of onlookers had partially blocked access to the crash site on Sunday, prompting soldiers to try to clear out the area, using rubber whips and their fists. One even threw a wooden plank at those crowded around.

Lagos, the largest city in Africa's most populous nation, is home to an estimated 15 million people.

The accident followed another plane crash Saturday in the capital of nearby Ghana, when a cargo plane overshot a runway and hit a passenger bus, killing at least 10 people.

The Allied Air cargo plane had departed from Lagos and was to land in Accra.

Read more on:    dana air  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  air crashes  |  aviation
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.